Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I'm going to have a piece in the Cereal Killers Art show at Monkey House Toys Saturday, June 09, 2007 At 04:00 PM. I always loved "Wacky Packages Stickers" when I was a kid, Even though "Monkey Vomit Cereal" Isn't a direct parody of any particular product, it's just a goof on all those "Natural" cereals that aren't much different from Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch. What if Cap'n Crunch got marooned in the Amazon?
Check it out if you get a chance. More Details Here

Sunday, May 27, 2007


The figure is revealed on Vinyl Pulse! I’ll continue the making of pics, as well as getting into some new things. My website will be up very soon www.davepresslerart.com just a few more tweaks. My email is smashoart8@earthlink.net Just remove the 8 it’s only there to throw off the creepy web crawlers. Coming this July at SDCC I’ll have a limited edition hand made figure available an SDCC exclusive! That’s coming up in a few weeks.


Yesterday was my birthday I had a great day, spent it with Lisa. I got a very excellent gift from my friend Dan Clark. This is a “Good Health Brand” Acupuncture model. He is made of rubber and 20"inches Tall! Looks like it's from the 60's.

He is sublime! It comes with it’s own stand, and best of all he dances.

His name is Yoshi, and this makes a great edition to my little medical installation.
It was a very good B-Day.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


This thing is blowing up! I had a feeling it would, but it's great to see it happening.
Check out some of the coverage: CNET NEWS & LA WEEKLY I don't know if I will make it out (Stupid Crutches!) if you do, look closely at mine. There's a shrieking skull inside! It's like an Easter egg.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Wow, I'm sorry I missed it. I love Luke and everyone at Munky King.
If you have been on the International Space Station for a few months and didn't know about this,check out the new Possessed figure By Luke Chueh sculpted by the amazing Dave Bondi. I saw all of the pics of the event on Vinyl Pulse Ahhh,regret "Sigh".


In addition to measuring, we gotta’ find the center of things!
The head and face are a good place to find center with this sculpt.
Eye position, the nose, and the way his hairline comes to a peak.
Not only are these good landmarks to keep all of the features in proportion, but also if these things are off center, the asymmetry will be glaring!

Sometimes in the excitement of sculpting a character, the alignments can get out of whack. Getting to focused in one area and not seeing the big picture.

Adding lines can show how off a sketch can be. But also help to figure out how to re-align and straighten things out.

Using a tool just to get a centerline view for lining up the ear positions. The head was further along in this picture. But imagine you still have that rough form with the horizontal & vertical centerlines.

Now after all this talk of keeping things sooooo symmetrical, I believe that features not being always exactly perfect are what give a sculpture character. That is what separates the human sculptors from robots. There are many great sculpts created in the digital medium. And In the vinyl toy world some designs lend themselves to 3D Modeling, much more then others. Perfectly smooth, round, geometric shapes work well. When it comes to complex character, with attitude and feeling, you need the human touch. People who sculpt well with their hands can translate it well to a computer program. In the future we will put on our creativity helmets that are directly wired into the rapid prototyping machine, and just think of the figure as it rises up out of the liquid resin!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Building up the figure! When I’m sculpting a figure that I designed, even though it’s all in my head I still do a fair amount of measuring just to make sure the character still has the same pose and vibe as the drawing. With the NJ Monkey King figure I had only one view to work with, and the animation to refer to. As I blocked out the rough form, it’s all bout getting the thicknesses right and the pose.

If you look at the art next to the armature we can see the arms have a nice taper, the legs also have a nice line, thick at the thigh down to a nice thin width at the ankle. The head is much bigger then the body. When we’re lumping on the clay for the build-up keep checking the widths with your calipers. Calipers come in large, and teeny tiny. As we add clay and smooth it down I just keep making sure everything is about where it should be.

My Favorite Calipers

Take the measurment right from the art, to the clay

Also you can do ”Relative Measuring” in the MY art the head is at a 3/4 angle this can make it difficult to thinks like, how far apart are the eyes? How long is the neck? That’s when I start using relative measurements. Within the figure what visible aspects of the character can I use to as a guide for parts I can’t see. I used the eye width as a starting point for the head and face. How many eyes distance is the ear from the snout, the nose is about 1/2 of the length of the eye, and so on. This also helps if you reach a point where things just don’t look right. Look at the sculpt look at the art start making small comparisons and figure out step by step what’s out of place.

Excellent, now that we can measure like pros how do we take those lumpy blobs of clay and start smoothing them down! That’s the next installment, all will be revealed!

P.S. I hope this is all making sense, any feedback I can get to make it better as a learning forum is appreciated!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


About three weeks ago I was bouncing on the trampoline with the kids. I haven’t done it in years! Fun! I decided we should video the experience, even more fun!. Luckily for entertainment purposes the camera was rolling when I twisted my knee. It hurt at the time but not bad enough to call it quits, I’m a relatively active guy I twisted and tweaked things before, “rub some grass on, take a lap you’ll be fine!”

The following week the pain set in, I went to the Doc had an MRI and found out It wasn’t my knee, but a spider web of tiny fractures at the top of my Tibia “Shin Bone”. So I was walking around for 2 weeks on ibuprofen and Tylenol 3’s thinking it was a soft tissue knee injury. The big drag is now I’m on crutches for 4-5 weeks. Sure I can walk without them, I’m just not supposed to. I never noticed how many steps are in our house. It won’t stop me from sculpting! Someday I will rise again!!!

This isn’t my x-Ray but a good shot for showing the approximate area of the fracture.
Hopefully I can post my real MRI soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I like this shot of my studio, it's very calm. I work during the day, but night time between 10pm & 1am is a my favorite. We can play an I-Spy game, can you spot something from Starbucks?


I can’t show the mystery sculpt yet! So I will just get into the making of it and we will eventually reveal along the way. The figure is the Monkey King, designed by Nathan Jurevicius. I was excited to be involved on a project like this one. The first step was to get a model sheet of the character. The model sheet usually has scale drawings of the character from the front. Sides, and 3/4. Nathan is a busy dude and I had a DVD of his Monkey King animation for MTV. I watched the video several times to pick what I thought would be the most dynamic angle for the character. The animation has great action, the Monkey King does a lot of emoting, and transformation into other creatures. Eventually I narrowed down my choices to a pose that I thought showed off the character, and captured his personality, also I thought the pose would make a cool figure! Next I captured the frame, printed it out and made a rough sketch that was going to be the size of the finished figure. When planning a vinyl figure there’s always going to be about 10% shrinkage from the
sculpt to the final toy.

Now with the basic drawing complete it’s time to lay out the armature. I use armature wire of different gauges, and I shape the armature right off of the model sheet, I feel that keeps the under structure very true to the art and it helps later when you are measuring and figuring out the proportions.

Zap-A-Gap Cyanoacrylate glue (Basically Fancy Krazy Glue) and sewing thread. This how I get the first layer of clay stuck to the armature. Glue a little start point, then wrap it around wire then coat it with more glue, hit it with Zip Kicker an instant curing agent for “Cyano Glue”. The first step of getting the clay on the armature can be maddening! Pressing cold clay onto the wire will only end in tears. My best friend is the microwave oven, and recycled rice bowls from Trader Joe’s! Plop the block of clay into bowl, and nuke it for about 3 minutes. You want liquid clay, spread it onto the wire, this will create a solid foundation to start your sculpt. The microwave does not work well with clay that has sulphur in it! The sulphur tends to clump up when it is heat and will make annoying little rocks in your sculpt that will drive you insane as you are working. Sulphur free NSP Hard Chavant clay is what I use. Also some people (including myself) can have an allergic reaction to other sculpting clays that contain sulphur.

After the first coat of clay has cooled a bit, but is still warm the build up can be started. With the soft clay just start adding chunks and build up the limbs torso etc to the basic thickness of the art. This is the rough phase of the sculpt, just roughing things out, or “Blocking Out” to get the basic figure going. With bigger parts, like the head I will start it in aluminum foil, its cheap (Yeah for the ¢99 store!) and pliable.

Also I want the form to have the basic weight of the vinyl figure. When I’m sculpting a figure balance is crucial from the start. How is the finale figure going to stand up if the original sculpt has no balance? If I sculpted the head out of solid clay It would throw everything off as far as mimicking the final product. I got a little ahead on the body before I took this shot. Next we’ll get into building up the figure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I just finished my "Vader Head" for the Star Wars Celebration next week.
DKE Toys is doing an art installation with a bunch of different artists painting and making magic with Vader masks. Mine is titled: "This Is Not What I Had In Mind" If you look closely at the real piece there's a shrieking skull inside, no really there is!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Working furiously molding and casting the mystery sculpt, and making the “Mystery Prototype”. I couldn’t jump the gun on the “Official” first look of the prototype, which will be happening this week! I’m pretty sure, I don’t want to keep saying here it is!
Lifting the curtain and nothing is there. I took lots of pics of the molding process as part of the show and tell. I’ll get into the building of the armature of the new sculpt, and getting started. Tune in Monday the 14th! The picture is just a cool shot of robot pirate pieces.

Monday, May 7, 2007


Wow, I had a great time meeting fans, and some of my good toy friends! Can’t wait for the next one.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


I sometimes get hired by effects studios to sculpt stuff.
This was from 2004. It was a huge Mount Rushmore built for a Pizza Hut commercial with Miss Piggy. It’s refreshing to sculpt something really BIG when I’m so used to working on small scale figures. I got to do the “Teddy” head and some of the foam sculpting on the big mountain. We used W.E.D. clay LOTS of it.
WED is a water based clay that is specially formulated to resist cracking and shrinkage. It also gets a nice “leathery” consistency which makes it easy to sculpt.

BTW: I was asked if the “Happy Product” figure in my previous post was available. It was supposed to be released in 05 by Android 8 But I don’t know what happened.
I never saw it released.

Someone pointed out that there is a big pile of severed limbs in the picture behind the "Teddy Head". I think they were real.

Friday, May 4, 2007


This one is a big give away. I've shown too much, now I'm in big trouble!
Leaking information on super secret toy projects!

Thursday, May 3, 2007


How do you decide when to use sculpey or clay? I love them both, usually if I need to do something super smooth, with sharp detail I’ll use Hard Chavant clay. There are methods using a mini torch, alcohol,(I will show later) and freeze spray to get excellent results. Super sculpey can get really smoothed out,but a little too gummy for super detail. I’ll bake it then sand it down, use patching compound to get a real nice shape. I mostly use SS if the figure is a maquette for production art. Or if I want to fully paint and photograph a piece before I mold and cast.

Angry Clobber Monkey is a good example of SS piece that was fully built painted and photographed. I can make molds, cast and assemble the rest of the run and still have a finished pic of the final character for show and tell while I'm still working.

“Happy Product” was a prototype for Mark Osborne based on the characters in his animated short “More”. This guy is so super smooth! Chavant NSP clay for sure.

Next week! The Mystery Sculpt! Revealed! Yahoo!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


The second part of the mystery sculpt. It looks like a tentacle, or maybe the delicate arm of a monster princess? Whatever it is it will be challenging to mold.